Desire of growing middle class for their children to learn English and dissatisfaction with teaching methods in local schools fuel demand for international education in China

(From Caixin Online)

A decade earlier, less than 4 percent of graduates from a popular high school in Beijing, known for high quality teachers who groomed students for elite universities, left to study abroad each year.

The majority chose to pursue their higher studies at home, with the brightest among them heading to top-ranking institutions like Peking University and Tsinghua University, said Shi Guopeng, heads of the Beijing No. 4 High School’s international program.

Having realized the great potential of China’s market, Harrow grabbed the golden opportunity to establish Harrow International School Beijing in 2005.

Students are taught according to a curriculum set for U.S. high schools, but follow the Chinese curriculum in subjects like math and physics and also learn Chinese literature, the school’s website showed.

In recent years, nearly one in three graduates of the school have opted to study abroad, Shi said.

“Several of them could have easily entered some of the best Chinese universities, but they have chosen to go abroad instead,” Shi said.

International schools were once reserved for expatriate families working for multinational companies or serving in the diplomatic community.

Now more local families are using international schools, where they follow the A-levels or International Baccalaureates curriculum from Britain or take Advanced Placement programs from the United States, as a springboard to getting places in British or U.S. universities. Read more

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